ISLAMABAD, May 16 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang Monday shared the view that Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership must continue to serve the vital interests of the peoples of the two countries, as well as the broader interests of peace and stability amidst the evolving regional and global milieu.
To this end, the two leaders agreed to enhance the momentum of exchanges to take bilateral cooperation to even higher levels.
The prime minister and premier Li Keqiang held a comprehensive telephonic conversation which was marked by traditional warmth and cordiality, which is the hallmark of Pakistan-China relationship, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
The two premiers also discussed in detail bilateral matters, while agreeing that Pakistan and China would not allow anyone to harm the time-tested all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked China for its firm support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national development and reaffirmed his government’s unwavering support to China on all issues of its core interest.
He also affirmed his government’s firm resolve to fast-track both the ongoing as well as the new projects under the transformational China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which had immensely contributed to the socio-economic development of Pakistan and also realize its high-quality development.
The prime minister underscored the need for both sides to work together and enhance cooperation between the concerned agencies of the two countries to fully operationalize the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) at an early date.
While recalling Pakistan-China sister-city partnerships, he expressed his desire to learn from the experience of those Chinese officials who had remained instrumental in setting up SEZs in their provinces.
The prime minister also expressed his commitment to working with renewed zeal and enthusiasm, in concert with China, especially on projects of strategic significance for both the countries, such as ML-1 project.
The prime minister offered his condolences to the government and people of China and expressed sympathies with the families of victims of the heinous terrorist attack that took place at the Karachi University on 26 April 2022, in which three Chinese scholars lost their lives.
While strongly condemning the terrorist attack, he reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm resolve to hold a thorough investigation, apprehend the perpetrators of this criminal act, and bring them to justice in accordance with our laws.
The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan attached the highest importance to the safety, security and protection of all Chinese nationals working in Pakistan on economic projects and institutions.
He assured premier Li that his government was determined to take all necessary measures for their enhanced security and safety in Pakistan.
While emphasizing people-to-people contacts, prime minister Shehbaz Sharif also conveyed sentiments of the families of the Pakistani students who were desirous of returning to China for the resumption of their studies.
Premier Li assured the prime minister of China’s readiness to enhance economic cooperation, expand trade and encourage greater investments from China to Pakistan.
According to Xinhua, Premier Li said China always regarded its ties with Pakistan as a priority in its diplomacy with neighboring countries, and would, as always, firmly support Pakistan in defending national sovereignty and security.
He also reiterated the resolve to support Pakistan in developing its economy, improving people’s livelihood and maintaining financial stability.
He said China stood ready to work with Pakistan to strengthen strategic communication, promote cooperation on such major projects as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and strengthen bilateral personnel exchanges on the condition of effective epidemic prevention and control, he added.
Premier Li pointed out that the Chinese side was shocked and outraged by the recent attack on Chinese nationals in Karachi, and strongly condemned the terrorist attack.
Premier Li hoped that Pakistan would bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible, make every effort to handle follow-up matters, comfort the bereaved families and the injured, and comprehensively strengthen security measures for Chinese institutions and citizens in Pakistan to ensure that similar tragedies will not happen again.